Wilde, Danny - 1986 The Boyfriend

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Wilde, Danny
ALBUM: The Boyfriend
LABEL: Island
SERIAL: 90497-1
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Danny Wilde - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica * Phil Solem - lead guitar, backing vocals * Sig Emerson - bass * Pat Mastelotto - drums * Martin Briley - backing vocals on 'Body To Body'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Isn't It Enough * 02 Body To Body * 03 Restless Heart * 04 Angel (This Must Be Heaven) * 05 Hold Out For Me * 06 The Sound Of My Heart Breaking * 07 Katherine * 08 He Can Have You * 09 Criminal Mind * 10 The Boyfriend


This album might be tagged as a Danny Wilde solo album, but really, the tandem of Wilde and guitarist Phil Solem might have you thinking that it's nothing more than The Rembrandts with a bit of window dressing over it. Not so.

Despite the fact that the duo formed said band in 1990, the duo's musical partnership goes back much further than that, or this album - if we skip through the history books.

Many of you might not be familiar with Wilde and Solem's first attempt at stardom, with their early 80's outfit Great Buildings.

For Wilde, history goes back even further.. with his participation as the lead singer in a long-lost power-pop classic band called The Quick, who released a great LP called 'Mondo Deco'. Hardly anyone will remember that one, with probably our very own Eric being a major exception.

Back to 1986, 'The Boyfriend' is Danny's first solo record, but the album lineup is impressive. Musically, it's jangly, but it also has a cranky attitude too.

I only wish a guy like Billy Squier could have followed a similar path to Danny during this same timeframe, as I feel he got the recipe 'just right' for this album.

The Songs

If you take a dash of Billy Squier, a dose of Stage Dolls plus Danny's own veritable style, then this is what is delivered on 'The Boyfriend'.

The opening pair of 'Isn't It Enough' and 'Body To Body' were both low-key achievers for Danny on rock radio at the time. 'Isn't It Enough' would also appear on former Scandal singer Patty Smyth's LP 'Never Enough' the following year.

The tick-tock rhythm of 'Restless Heart' is a combination of mid-west jangle with the smooth delivery of a Stage Dolls tune.

'Angel (This Must Be Heaven)' reminds us of Wilde's power-pop leanings from the past, this one could sound quite appropriate with the skinny-tie brigade circa 1979-1980!

'Hold Out For Me' is a pretty good upbeat urgent rocker with a superb chorus, not unlike the following track 'The Sound Of My Heart Breaking' has a nifty power-pop/guitar rocker edge to it. A very likeable track!

'Katherine' is a lovely mid-tempo breath of fresh air, which exudes all the confidence and style from a guy well averse to the singer/songwriter concept. The jangly guitar melodies are superb.

'He Can Have You' is the sort of 80's radio drama best found on a Donnie Iris album, the arrangement is so similar you'll be breaking out those Cruisers albums to do an identity test!

'Criminal Mind' is a tough guitar rocker with ample melody lines and enough attitude to sound convincing out on the backstreets, while the album closer 'The Boyfriend' is the driftaway ballad of the album, taking us out on a cushion of air rather than a blaze of glory!

In Summary

'The Boyfriend' is an album that never made it to the CD format, as Danny departed Island Records soon after the release of this, and high-tailed it to Geffen Records instead.

Island, in their infinite wisdom and seeking some sort of retribution conveniently ignored it forever after. Wilde would release two more studio albums during the 80's: 'Any Mans Hunger' in 1988, where Danny went over to Dave Edmunds Rockfield Studios in Wales to record it, plus 1989's self titled album.

There is also a 1988 Live Westwood One Recording featuring eight tracks out there as a file share, for those that are interested.

Of course from 1990 onwards, Danny and Phil Solem created The Rembrandts legacy, which would result in the hit single 'I'll Be There For You' which was the theme song to the show 'Friends', but it ultimately became a millstone around their necks and eventually proved the undoing of the band and the duo in 1997.

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